September 05, 2014 - 5:17 PM
KAMLOOPS – It’s been four years since a vehicle accident took the lifes of Brittany Plotnikoff, 20, and Ken Craigdallie, 38, and today a judge’s ruling has determined it was dangerous driving which caused their deaths.
Wayne Fedan, born 1961, was originally charged with two counts of impaired driving causing death, two counts of causing an accident resulting in death and two counts of dangerous driving causing death.
Kamloops Supreme Court Justice Deborah Kloegman convicted Fedan of his dangerous driving charges on Friday morning, but acquitted him on both impaired driving and causing the accident.
The sensing diagnostic module or blackbox of the truck measured the last five seconds of the truck movements before impact. Blackbox evidence determined that Fedan’s 2004 GMC Sierra was traveling around 106 kilometres per hour the second before it rolled off the road, striking a tree and picket fence near the Woodland Trailer Park.
“This (speed) was more than twice the legal limit,” Kloegman said. “The accused had his foot on the gas until the last second before the crash.”
RCMP Sgt. Barry Noonan, who assessed the accident scene, determined that the curb on Mackenzie Avenue where Fedan rolled the truck could only be completed at a maximum speed of 79 kilometers per hour.
In addition to assessing speed, the truck’s blackbox determined none of the passengers, including Fedan, were wearing seatbelts.
While many observed Fedan, Plotnikoff and Craigdallie drinking prior to the crash, there was no evidence to determine exactly how much Fedan drank preceeding the accident. Two of his blood samples were ruled inadmissible after RCMP did not help him contact a lawyer – a violation of his Charter rights.
Kloegman determined Fedan was drinking on the night of the crash based on evidence provided by Craigdallie’s roommate Angela Gillis and her friend Michelle Camille.
Both said the trio arrived at Gillis’ house with a 60-ounce bottle of Crown Royal whiskey. Gillis told the court she and Fedan drank glasses of rye and coke. The bottle of whiskey with roughly one inch of liquid in it was later found at the scene of the accident.
The evidence could not prove how much Fedan had to drink, but Kloegman did acknowledge his drinking from that night was a factor in his dangerous driving.
Kloegman pointed to additional evidence provided by James Schneider who told the court he was tailgated by Fedan in his truck and noticed him driving erratically. Schneider phoned 9-1-1 after he noticed the driver nearly hit a pedestrian crossing the road.
Sentencing for Fedan is set for October 30.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014